Ten Years and No Trial: Jail Has Become Permanent Housing in Miami-Dade

In this county, the criminal court system functions like an old bicycle: It works -- just much too slowly.

This week, New Times will feature a story about the inmates who have stayed longest in Miami-Dade county jail, a place that's supposed to be temporary.

Chazre Davis
Chazre Davis
via miami dade police

What we found: Eight men have spent more than ten years behind bars waiting for a verdict. One of them has been there 12 years with an open case. And it has cost the county over $4 million.

Take Chazre Davis, inmate number 000000236, for example. The husky 41-year-has a Mohawk that sprouts from his skull like a potted shrub. He sleeps next to a stainless-steel sink inside private cell number 503 at the Miami-Dade County Pre-Trial Detention Center. On Saturdays, he munches Salisbury steak for dinner, lifts weights, and is allowed to rendezvous with visitors.

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Davis is accused of suffocating his girlfriend to death with a pillow. Problem is, he's been locked up for more than a decade with no trial.

Our man in the red jumpsuit is not alone. In fact, more than 60 inmates -- ranging from alleged burglars to coke dealers -- have stayed at least five years. (Only three inmates in Broward County have stayed that long.) And most national felony cases take less than a year to adjudicate, according to Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Check out the full story online this evening.

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